HUD has now transitioned away from UPCS Real Estate assesment Center (REAC) inspections and is now applying the new National Standard for the physical Inspection of Real Estate standard (NSPIRE) for building inspections.
NSPIRE INSPECTABLE AREAS
To ensure residents live in safe and habitable environment, NSPIRE establishes the three inspectable areas instead of five in the old UPCS of a REAC inspection into three easily identified locations: Unit, Inside, and Outside. The reduction of inspectable areas does not mean the inspections are easier. While the focus is mainly on the interior and units. The NSPIRE standard adapts a more indebt inspection of building interior and units. And while this was done to increase the usability of the standards and streamlines the inspection process, the more problematic the units are, the harder it will be to get a passing score.
According to HUD, "The new NSPIRE model prioritizes health, safety, and functional defects over appearance. It implements inspections that better reflect the true physical conditions of the property. The NSPIRE model supports the adoption of sound, year-round maintenance practices." The National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate is designed to promote HUD’s goal of reducing health and safety hazards in the home. To achieve this goal, NSPIRE prioritizes the condition of dwelling units where people live. And has also reduce the inspectable areas from five to three. Now the focus is on Outside, Inside and Units with the units carrying the heavier scoring weight. The weights are divided into four catergories, Life Threathing (LT), Severe (S), Moderate (M) and Low (L). Life threatening deficiency inside the units (60) will carry the largest deduction, while low deficiency outside (2.0) will carry the least deduction of deficiency. To determine the point deduction of a given deficiency, HUD will determine the location and severity of the deficiency.
- Addressing life-threatening and severe deficiencies within 24 hours. All other deficiencies must be addressed within 60 days or a reasonable period.
- Making the Smoke Alarm Standard consistent with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 72.-Smoke alarms are required in each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on each story including basement.
- Creating a Fire Door Standard detailing the specific function, operability and structural integrity requirements for fire doors.
- Requiring carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in compliance with the 2018 International Fire Code. CO alarms are required outside each separate dwelling units with attached garages and outside each sleeping are with dwelling units with fuel-fired appliances. Bedrooms or attached bathrooms with fuel burning require CO alarms in bedrooms
- Setting minimum temperature requirements during the colder months and requiring a permanent heating source.
- Including criteria for when guardrails and handrails are required. For instance, Guardrails are required along open sided walking surfaces, including stairs, ramp and landings that are more than 30" vertical to floor or grade.
- Establishing infestation deficiencies based on discrete levels of observations with clarification on citable pests.
- Developing deficiencies based on observed mold conditions or elevated moisture levels measured using a moisture meter.
Affirmative habitability requirements:
There are affirmative habitability for inside, outside and units.
1. Outlets installed within six feet of a water source must be “ground-fault circuit interrupter” (GFCI) protected.
2. Must have a guardrail when there is an elevated walking surface with a drop off of 30 inches or more.
The inside area must meet six affirmative requirements:
1.There must be at least one battery-operated or hard-wired smoke detector, in proper working condition, on each level of a property.
2. The inside area of a building must meet or exceed the carbon monoxide detection standards set by HUD through a Federal Register notice. (Does not apply to housing with a mortgage insured or held by HUD, or Section 202 direct loan housing.)
3. Any outlet installed within six feet of a water source must be “ground-fault circuit interrupter” (GFCI) protected. 4. Must have a guardrail when there is an elevated walking surface with a drop off of 30 inches or more.
5. Must have permanently mounted light fixtures in any kitchen and in each bathroom.
6. May not have unvented space heaters that burn gas, oil, or kerosene.
The dwelling unit must meet eleven affirmative requirements:
1. Must have hot and cold running water in bathrooms and in the kitchen, including an adequate source of safe drinking water in bathrooms and the kitchen.
2. Must have its own bathroom “or sanitary facility” (undefined) that is in proper working condition and usable in privacy. A bathroom must have a sink, a bathtub or shower, and an interior, flushable toilet.
3. Must have at least one battery-operated or hard-wired smoke detector in proper working condition in the following locations: a. On each level of a unit b. Inside each bedroom c. Within 21 feet of any door to a bedroom d. On the living area side of a door that separates the living area from a smoke detector outside of a bedroom There are three other provisions under §5.703(d)(3)
4. Must have a living room. It must also have a kitchen area that has a sink, cooking appliance, refrigerator, food preparation area, and food storage area.
5. For HCV or PBV units, there must be at least one bedroom or “living/sleeping room” for each two people. (NLIHC opposes allowing people to sleep in a living room.)
6. Must meet or exceed the carbon monoxide detection standards set by HUD through a Federal Register notice. (Does not apply to housing with a mortgage insured or held by HUD, or Section 202 direct loan housing.)
7. Must have two working outlets or one working outlet and a permanent light in all habitable rooms.
8. Outlets installed within six feet of a water source must be “ground-fault circuit interrupter” (GFCI) protected.
9. In HUD-designated geographies, must have a permanently installed heating source, and no units may have unvented space heaters that burn gas, oil, or kerosene.
10. Must have a guardrail when there is an elevated walking surface with a drop off of 30 inches or more.
11. Must have a permanently mounted light fixture in the kitchen and each bathroom.
Even with the transition from REAC to NSPIRE we are still providing PRE REAC services until program has been fully phased out. We will asses all inspectable areas, focusing on all difficiencies. After assessing properties, a score based report will be provided. Our trained professionals will help you get ready! We will work alongside property personnel or go at it with our trained professionals so that staff can focus on day to day needs of properties. We will leave no stones unturned!
The common inspectable areas are:
|Unit inspection:||Bathroom, kitchen, bedroom/s, hallway, patio/balcony, living & dining room, basement if attached, electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems.|
|Common Areas:||Community room, kitchen, hallway, basement, utility closet, office/s, restroom/s, laundry room, storage area, workshop & mechanical room.|
|Systems:||Electrical, HVAC, boiler, hot water heater, sewer lines, auxiliary lighting, sprinkler system, fire suppression, plumbing and exhaust system, exit and emergency lighting.|
|Exterior:||Walls, roof if accessible, inspectable shed, gutters, downspouts, lighting, canopy, patio/porch, landings, foundations, stairs/steps, windows and doors.|
|Site:||Grounds, parking areas, sidewalk/walkway, playground equipment, mailboxes, signage and fencing.|